Give your food and drinks a floral twist with some of the exotic and exquisite blooms
Many cultures have regarded flowers as edible food, and today several contemporary cooks worldwide are rediscovering their charm. Flower petals are used to add a touch of sophistication to dishes. The key to cooking successfully with edible flowers is not overpowering the subtle flavour with too many competing ingredients. This virtually extinct art is experiencing a renaissance today.
Let's get to know a few exquisite edible flowers and how to incorporate them into your cooking to impress your dinner guests.
Wide nasturtium varieties are edible and can be used as a colourful garnish for your dishes. All parts of a nasturtium, including the petals, stem, seeds, and leaves, are safe to consume. Nasturtium's spicy flavour makes it a great addition to salads and pairs nicely with cooked veggies. Pasta, baked potatoes, stir-fries, salads, meat, and other savoury foods benefit from its addition as a garnish. Your omelettes, sandwiches, and quiches will seem more tempting with their help.
Nasturtium can also cook poultry and pasta sauces, but you should not overcook it for the most excellent flavour. The seeds are tastier than the petals, so use caution when eating them. The taste of fully mature, yellow seeds may be unpleasant.
Dandelions, Image Source: Unsplash
You can use dandelions to season and garnish your food. The petals of dandelions can be eaten and offer a splash of colour to your salads or other greens. For a quick and easy side dish, try sauteeing them with a splash of lemon and some minced garlic. In the same way, you would use delicate, fresh herbs like dill or parsley.
Vitamins A and C are abundant in violet leaves and petals. The edible petals are beautiful to look at and have a mild flavour. Violets are delicious with ice cream; you can use violet syrup instead of regular syrup in baked goods and on pancakes. Violet flowers are another choice for sprinkling over your salad or soup. Raw violets have intense flavours that can easily overpower other ingredients.
Lavender flowers, Image Source: Pexels
You can give pastries and other baked goods a more delicate appearance and flavour with fresh, sensitive lavender blossoms. Despite their lack of sweetness, these edible flowers add a vibrant splash of colour and a light floral aroma to baked dishes. Raw lavender is delicious in things like cookie dough and sorbet. It also makes a significant infusion for serving drinks like tea and cocktails.
Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Mexican cooking frequently feature squash blossoms or zucchini flowers in their dishes. Because of their fragility and short shelf life, these blossoms are typically cooked and served immediately after harvest. They're as tasty as they seem. You can create a fritter out of the flowers, stuff them, and deep-fry them. The pleasing shape of zucchini flowers makes them an ideal stuffing material. Prepare the zucchini flowers for eating by stuffing them with cheese and herbs and then briefly pan-frying them in olive oil until they have wilted.
Bask in the magnificence of the flower power. These edible flowers can add flavour, colour, and visual interest to your food. Fresh, vibrant, and in perfect form, uncooked petals are a culinary delight.